Is Christianity Pagan?
Study No. 7
It is generally believed and taught that Christianity was founded by the Savior of the world, when He was on earth. A question immediately arises, which particular sect was the one He originated? This is very important, for any thinking person knows that of the hundreds of sects making up Christendom, no two agree one with the other entirely. So, naturally, the Savior did not inaugurate so many conflicting divisions. The Roman Catholic Church claims to be the one and only church of God, the true bride of Christ, and that all Protestant sects are heretics. On the other hand, the Protestants deride the Catholic Church as the harlot mother of Revelation 17:5, not knowing that the same text condemns them likewise.
Those who are acquainted with the facts know that Christendom is made up of Christian nations, whose faith was founded, not by the Savior of Nazareth, but by pagan philosophers a generation after the death of the last of the Messiah’s immediate followers. Christianity is apostate, as we can readily prove. The denominations, sects, churches, or factions, which make up Christianity are not followers of the Savior of the world. The doctrines He taught, the life He lived, the worship He practiced, are not those of modern Christianity. Christianity is Hellenic paganism, nationalized by Roman emperors for national solidarity. It was molded from the doctrines of Plato, Socrates, and the Gnostic Grecian philosophers. Christianity is but a newer name of the old religion of the philosophers. It is modeled after them in doctrine, in practice, and in worship!
Christianity, as such, was not firmly established as a religion until the time of Constantine the Great, who needed a national religion to solidify his empire. He, therefore, adopted the new religion, then going into apostasy, and made it into a national sect. He not only caused its acceptance as the one and only religion of the empire, but he formulated its policies, and caused its doctrines to be accepted, and stigmatized as heretics those who would not accept the new religion, banishing them from his kingdom, or putting them to death. Anyone may verify the above by referring to any religious encyclopedia on the topic of the Council of Nice, or the life of Constantine. Thus began the Roman Catholic Church, from whence sprang the church daughters making up the sects of Christianity.
When the Messiah was born into the world, His mother was a maid of Israel, of the tribe of Judah. He was born into a holy household, one which worshipped the Almighty according to the doctrine and ritual given by the Most High through the Holy Spirit to the prophets. There is not one iota of evidence in the New Testament records that the Savior ever departed from the religion of His people, which was the scriptural worship of the prophets. His every act and word emphasized the fact that He came not to destroy the law or the prophets (that is, the Holy Scriptures), but rather, to obey them, fulfilling them in every yod [jot] and tittle. He taught the same precepts of holiness, practiced the same life of righteousness, observed the same sacred feasts, hallowed the same weekly Sabbath day, as did the patriarchs and prophets before Him. But, to the apostate church of His day, He emphasized the power of a life of holiness, so lived that its influence would change the vilest sinner, making him whole in body and spirit again. It was the message of the prophets placed into practice in His life, and in the lives of His immediate band of followers. This life of holiness not only influenced individuals, but through them affected the course of nations, and remodeled the world in a fashion. But the Savior died, then ascended, and His disciples carried on after Him, until they, too, died. As long as the immediate followers of the Messiah lived, they patterned their doctrine and manner of life after that of their Savior, for they were mainly of the Jewish nation, and from the Jewish faith. They continued to live, to teach, to worship, as true Israelites, following the example of their Master.
After the destruction of Jerusalem in the year 70, the Jews were dispersed into all parts of the Roman Empire and the disciples of the Messiah, being mainly of the Jewish nation, were scattered with the others. With them, these disciples took the pristine faith which they had received from the Savior. They formed assemblies wherever they went, and so the true faith was sown throughout the world. From among the nations where they were scattered, the true believers gathered proselytes to the true faith, and so the assemblies grew in numbers, made up from the various nationalities mixed with believers from the nation of Judah. These new members, however, had been connected with other religions then, just as it is now. And then, as now, there was no salvation in them! When these converts came into the fold from the pagan religions, they neglected to leave all of their former beliefs behind, but often brought these paganistic doctrines and practices into the true fold. In time, as the true believers from Judaea died off and the ones who held to the true faith decreased in numbers, the other element which had been proselytized from the pagan religions became the dominant force in the new faith, and soon, except for isolated instances, the new religion became a mongrel, a half breed, part pagan and part true faith. It was not the pure faith of the Messiah, nor was it known by any of the former names, but became known, in time, as Christianity. This change was gradual, beginning even in the time of St. Paul, and culminating in the state church in the reign of Constantine.
Of this change of the true faith into that of the mongrel religion, Dr. Jesse Lyman Hurlbut, the noted church historian, says, "For fifty years after St. Paul’s life a curtain hangs over the church, through which we vainly strive to look; and when it at last rises, about 120 years A.D. with the writings of the earliest church-fathers we find a church in many aspects very different from that in the days of St. Peter and St. Paul," Story of the Christian Church, page 41.
In the wars with the Jews, the Romans considered them as enemies, as indeed they were. This feeling influenced the people of the Roman Empire in their attitude toward the true disciples who were mainly from Judaea. Many of the citizens of the empire refused to have anything to do with the new sect, because they considered it Jewish. Even the members of the assemblies from the nations were influenced by this spirit, and said, "Let us have nothing in common with this rabble of the Jews," and so everything in the new faith which had a taint of Judaism was discarded, and a new religion formed which had nothing Jewish about it. This new creation was called Christianity, but was not the faith of the Messiah.
Mainline Christianity is not the faith of the Savior, but an amalgamation of paganism, Judaism, sprinkled with a tincture of the true faith as taught by the Messiah. Hurlbut says, "As long as the church was mainly Jewish the Hebrew Sabbath was kept; but as it became increasingly Gentile the first day (Sunday) gradually took the place of the seventh" Ibid., page 45.
Not only was the Sabbath dropped from the new religion, and Sunday (a holy day of the pagans) adopted; but they likewise rejected the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and adopted Lent and Easter (Astarte’s Sunday). The Feast of Tabernacles and the Day of Atonement were forgotten, and the birthday of the sun god took their place as Christmas. Sprinkling took the place of immersion; immortality of the soul, adopted from paganism, replaced the doctrine of conditional eternal life; the resurrection and day of judgment were forgotten, and a continuous judgment was taught, through which the dead entered heaven or hell for eternity, no resurrection being necessary in this program. The kingdom of heaven, as an actual earth wide government under the whole heavens was ignored, as the members of the new religion sought to please the "powers that be." Truly, as Hurlbut said, "We find a church in many aspects different," from that of St. Paul, St. Peter, and the Messiah. This new church, so different, was Christianity, and for its deities it adopted various ones from the heathen, discarding the Most High of the Jewish scriptures, and His blessed Son Yahshua.
The new religion was not the old paganism, but really a new creation. It was a general amalgamation, made up of various beliefs of the new members of the old cults. They took something else from another, and another, and formed the whole into Christianity. Sunday from the pagan Romans, Easter from the pagan Egyptians, Christmas from the pagan Babylonians, the triune-god from the Gnostics, immortality from the pagan Greeks, and some of the Jewish faith, with some of the teachings of the Messiah, and many other doctrines, were combined, and the religion of Christianity was formed, which eventually became the state religion of the Roman Empire.
In many places the temples were turned into Christian churches. The services of worship increased in splendor, but were less spiritual and hearty than those of former times. "The forms and ceremonies of paganism gradually crept into the worship. Some of the old heathen feasts became church festivals with change of name and worship" (Hurlbut, Ibid. page 79).
The pagan temples not only became churches, the heathen festivals became church feasts, the Sabbath was replaced by Sunday, but even the heathen worship was transferred, as they substituted the adoration of the Virgin Mary for the worship of Venus and Diana. Pagans took their gods and goddesses such as Diana, Venus, Zeus or Jupiter, Apollo, Baal, etc. and carried them over into the new religion.
A number of books detail this transformation from the "old" Babylon to the "new" Babylon. Recommended are The Two Babylons by Alexander Hislop and especially Babylon Mystery Religion by Ralph Woodrow. Write us for current prices.
There is only one religion revealed in the Scriptures. Down with Christianity, its pagan worship, its pagan deities, its pagan festivals, and its pagan doctrines, and back to the old pathway, Jeremiah 6:16, the way of salvation.
Worship the Mighty One of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, follow the true Savior and reject all traditions and commandments of men, worshipping the Eternal in Spirit and in Truth!
— adapted from a reprint in The Faith, January 1976 W
Instead of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,
many worship the "god" of me, myself and I.
Bible Study Index